Ireland Fine Gael Gaeltacht Spokesperson Concern

NEWS FROM THE CELTIC LEAGUE

IRELAND: FINE GAEL GAELTACHT SPOKESPERSON CONCERN

The Celtic League has been contacted asking for its support against the recent appointment of a Gaeltacht spokesperson by the main opposition party, Fine Gael,who has “very little Irish”.

The letter – sent by a range of Gaeltacht and Irish language workers and activists – says that it objects to the appointment of Frank Feighan TD by Fine Gael, because any political dialogue with him will be limited to English. Convenor of the League, Cathal O Luain, responded in Irish saying that the branch is also concerned by this development and supports the sentiment in the
letter.

The text of the letter in English reads:

“Fine Gael recently appointed a Gaeltacht spokesman with `very limited’ Irish. In effect , this appointment means that any political dialogue with the Gaeltacht spokesperson – Frank Feighan TD – is limited to English. This appointment limits our freedom of speech and expression. If we wish to communicate with Frank Feighan in Irish he can’t communicate effectively. We are calling on Enda Kenny to appoint a spokesperson who can speak with the people he represents.”

Fine Gael have been no friends of the Irish language for many decades. Their previous Irish/Gaeltacht spokesperson, Brian Hayes, spoke Irish but proposed that the language be made an optional subject after the junior leaving certificate. If this proposition were to go ahead (and Fine Gael are likely to be in Government after the next elections) it would have detrimental implications not only for the status of Irish at second level but also for third level Irish and also for the availability of courses.This latest development is a further indication of Fine Gael’s lack of commitment to support, (or is it antipathy?), for the Irish language.

The letter written to the League will be published in Gaelsceal next Friday.

This article prepared for Celtic News by Rhisiart Tal-e-bot General Secretary and posted to the Celtic League website by Tony Leamon Assistant General Secretary Celtic League. For follow-up comment or clarification contact:

Tel: 0044 (0)1209315884
M: 0044(0)7787318666

rhisiart.talebot@…
gensec@…

J B Moffatt (Mr)
Director of Information
Celtic League

29/07/10

The Celtic League has branches in the six Celtic Countries. It works
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